Furniture Finds: Resale and Consignment Stores Got a Boost During… – Tulsa World | NutSocia

Not unlike the fashion industry, the furniture industry is largely cyclical: trends that were popular decades ago are reappearing, and vintage pieces gain popularity over time.

That’s just one of the reasons we’re seeing a flood of commission furniture here and across the country. Local shops offering consignment pieces from all different eras are seeing their inventory fly off the shelves as Tulsans look to fill their homes with items with character and history.

“The main reason people are drawn to consignment stores is because furniture that’s made in the big furniture stores isn’t of the quality it used to be,” said Tana Large, owner of Round the House Consignment in Tulsa, 4941 S. Peoria Ave. “They want the kind of furniture from our past that can last for years.”

Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Midtown Tulsa from this week’s Showcase Home, 2200 S. Utica Pl. Unit 7C.

Research shows that Tulsa isn’t the only place experiencing a boom in resold furniture. According to analysts at Kaiyo, an online furniture resale platform, the furniture resale industry is on track to reach nearly $17 billion in revenue by 2025, a 70% increase from 2018.

People also read…

A partial explanation for the recent growth in the consignment industry is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues, said Diana Clark, owner of Mustard Seed Consignment in Tulsa, 5800 S. Lewis Ave.

“In the last three years, our business has boomed because a lot of people are remodeling and renovating their homes,” Clark said. “The supply chain issues in the furniture industry have helped us – people want to buy things they can touch, see and feel, not order them off the internet and wait forever.”

Consumers can find all types of furniture in consignment shops: large pieces like dressers or bookshelves, but also lighting, carpets, vases and even works of art. Items that are particularly trending right now are mid-century modern pieces and traditional French country decor, Clark said. Pieces made of wood are in high demand at Round the House Consignment, Large said.

Aside from the fact that consignment furniture is trending at the moment, customers are drawn to consignment stores by the competitive prices and the fact that every item there is unique, Clark said.

“People are always looking for really good quality at a really good price,” Clark said. “Our main client base is ordinary people and some interior designers looking for wonderful things to add to their home.”

“We see people coming for those special pieces that become a focal point in their home,” Large said. “They could furnish most of their home from a large department store, but they need a piece to add drama and impact. They come (to Round the House Consignment) to find pieces with history that you can’t find in a big furniture store.”

Large also owns Interiors Designer Co-op, 3133 S. Harvard Ave., which specializes in offering new pieces alongside high-quality vintage furniture pieces, giving buyers — including many local interior designers — plenty of choice.

There are many reasons someone might want to sell furniture at a consignment store, from lifestyle changes to relocations and everything in between, Large said.

“Someone can bring furniture here if they’ve lost a family member and have an estate to clean up, but we also get people who are in the process of downsizing and have extra furniture that they no longer need,” Large said. “People change their color schemes a lot too – recently someone came in and supplied a lot of golds and browns as they switch their home to silver and metallics.”

Of course, there is an opportunity to resell furniture online on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, but selling it at a consignment store can yield better results. Clark said that 97% of the items they accept at Mustard Seed Consignment are sold.

The furniture shipping process varies from store to store, but generally involves a seller emailing a photo to store owners for approval. Once approved, an item typically stays on the ground for 90 days before being donated to charity.

“We take a wide range of items and try to make sure they’re all solid wood furniture, the upholstery is clean and everything is in line with today’s interior trend,” Large said.

All items accepted at Mustard Seed Consignment are carefully inspected for defects before being placed on the store floor, Clark said.

“We don’t accept anything that is damaged or has defects,” Clark said. “The main reason we reject items is their condition.”

Sales of each item are split 50:50 between the seller and the consignment store owner, both Large and Clark said. When it comes to pricing, a general rule of thumb is to price an item at half its retail price, but additional internet research on pricing of individual items may be required, Large said.

Some items, Large said, are almost always guaranteed to sell quickly.

“Certain items will always sell, such as B. Chairs and tables,” said Large. “Personally, I love original art and sculpture, and they usually sell well too.”

In some cases, consignment pieces have a much deeper meaning than was ever thought possible, Clark said.

“We had a large African wooden sculpture that had been sold at a Sotheby’s auction years ago,” Clark said. “A man walked in and almost started crying. He said, ‘This is from my tribe.’ He told us about all the markings on it and told us how sacred it was and that it should never have escaped its tribe, so we set about making it possible for him to buy it. He came with his sons and put it on a rug in the back of his pickup truck. They performed a whole ceremony of rinsing it with leaves that had been soaked in water and saying prayers over it. And it just made me cry that we put it back in the house where it belongs.”

Experiences like this are why Clark is passionate about consignment furniture. She has the opportunity to sell people items that are special and will become an important part of their lives and homes, she said.

As for the future of the consignment furniture industry, both Large and Clark said they expect continued growth.

“I’m expecting a really bright future,” Clark said. “People are really conscious of their money and their spending and love to feel like they made a really good purchase. It makes her really happy. I think this industry is only going up.”


Leave a Comment